Climate Fiction: A Glimpse into the Growing Genre: Background information when reading Midnight at the Electric

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Midnight at the Electric

by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson X
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2017, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    May 14, 2019, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Erin Szczechowski

Buy This Book

About this Book

Climate Fiction: A Glimpse into the Growing Genre

This article relates to Midnight at the Electric

Print Review

In Midnight at the Electric, it is the year 2065, and teenager Adri is part of a carefully selected group departing Earth forever to live on Mars. Although the story takes place less than 50 years from now, massive planetary destruction has already taken place. As Adri puts it early on, "there's no Miami and hardly any Bangladesh and no polar bears…and they're paying billions of dollars to start a colony on Mars because humans need an exit strategy."

Considered by some to be a sub-genre of science-fiction, and by others to be an entirely new genre, climate-fiction highlights climate change and its potential ramifications. Although books exploring man-made climate change date back to the '70s, it was only in 2007 that journalist Dan Bloom coined the term "cli-fi." Now, only one decade later, dozens of books fall under the definition of climate fiction, and the genre has seen an explosion in popularity. What potential does climate fiction have, outside of regular fiction? Like many great works of fiction, cli-fi can be an effective way to offer critiques on society, and the potential destination society is traveling toward. However, many believe that climate fiction is more powerful than that. As Sarah Stankorb writes in an article for Good, climate fiction makes "the unthinkable more proximate, or even intimate. It lets us into the truth of climate change in a new way, and it provides a new space where we can interrogate the forces that define our culture and changing world" (2016).

Intimacy may be an important word to focus on, here. Data released from the Yale Program on Climate Communication in 2016 shows that while nearly 60% of participants believed that global warming will harm people in the US, only 40% believed that it will hurt them, personally. This shows a lack of connection between the dangers of global warming and individuals' own futures within a world of climate change. But if climate fiction can connect people to the characters who are actually experiencing the devastations of eco-destruction, the audience may feel more empathetic and aware of these dangers. This is especially important in today's political landscape, in a world where the US withdrew from the Paris Agreement in June 2017, and where the setting of Midnight at the Electric seems more likely than not.

So, where does the future of climate fiction lie? With the recent surge in popularity, it is extending beyond books. The subject is being taught at educational institutions like Cambridge, Vanderbilt, and New York University; in an article for The Atlantic, J.K. Ullrich explains how the genre is bringing out real-life change, with the fusion of science, STEM, and cli-fi. According to Ullrich, climate fiction can help interest students in the sciences, and spark practical responses in reaction to related happenings across the globe. While Midnight at the Electric doesn't focus exclusively on the worrying phenomenon, the greater the number of books that explore potential impacts of eco-destruction, the greater the attention that will hopefully be paid to this global issue.

This "beyond the book article" relates to Midnight at the Electric. It first ran in the July 12, 2017 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Tiffany Blues
    Tiffany Blues
    by M.J. Rose
    I admit it. I'm an M. J. Rose fan. But this time I believe she has outdone herself.

    Set in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wrong Heaven
    The Wrong Heaven
    by Amy Bonnafons
    The narrators of the short story collection The Wrong Heaven are plagued by critical talking lawn ...
  • Book Jacket: Southernmost
    Southernmost
    by Silas House
    Southernmost opens with a devastating flood in Cumberland Valley, Tennessee. Could it be divine ...
  • Book Jacket: Confessions of the Fox
    Confessions of the Fox
    by Jordy Rosenberg
    In Confessions of the Fox, a fictional academic, Dr. Voth, finds a manuscript in the library where ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Meet Me at the Museum
    by Anne Youngson

    A celebration of letters, kindred spirits and writing a new story for yourself.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our House
    by Louise Candlish

    A disturbing and addictive novel of domestic suspense.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Fly Girls
    by Keith O'Brien

    How five daring women defied all odds and made aviation history.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Vox

VOX by Christina Dalcher

The story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter in a society where half the population is silenced.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T B Y Speak

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.